Heart Index – B

A B C D E F H I L M N O P R S T V
Balloon angioplasty

Colloquial term for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a procedure used to widen a narrowed coronary artery by means of a small balloon attached to the tip of a catheter.

Beta-blockers

Compounds which block the action of adrenaline at the beta-receptors on heart muscle cells. They reduce the heart rate, the force of heart muscle contractions, and the heart’s oxygen needs such that the heart is able to pump blood around the body more efficiently. They are often used to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Bicuspid valve

The heart valve which separates the left atrium from the left ventricle. Also known as the mitral valve.

Blood cholesterol

The total amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The standard adopted by the World Health Organization for the classification of body weight categories. BMI, which measures a person’s weight in relation to his height, is calculated using the formula:
BMI = weight (in kg) divided by [square of height (in m)]

Bradycardia

A heart rate that is unusually slow.

Bronchitis

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes characterised by coughing and breathing difficulties.